HUL creates roadblocks on Star and Zee

MUMBAI: For Star and Zee, the deal with FMCG major Hindustan Unilever (HUL) couldn‘t have come at a better time. Battling slowdown and a cricket heavy year, the broadcasters have blocked an entire day on their networks for the HUL brands that would bring in an advertising premium, a rare commodity these days.

HUL, which has been under pressure owing to loss of market shares in segments from soaps and shampoos to toothpastes and skin creams, will consume the networks‘ entire advertising airtime on 17 September and 24 September on Star and Zee respectively.

Said Zeel chief revenue officer Joy Chakraborthy, "Through this initiative, while HUL will get a huge brand exposure, the channels will receive an advertising premium."

This is not the first that an advertiser has blocked advertising airtime across a broadcasting network. Earlier, in 2007, Hutch had conducted a network roadblock on Star to introduce its brand change to Vodafone.

Speaking to, Star India advertising and sales EVP Kevin Vaz said, "As per our arrangement with HUL, while the brand advertisement pack will be led by Lifebuoy, the other brands that will also get airtime across the network are Dove, Ponds and Fair & Lovely."

"We are confident that this roadblock with HUL brands, primarily Lifebuoy, will create as huge an impression in the minds of the customers as it did for Vodafone," he added.

Currently, the Star Network runs ads of more that 20 HUL brands across its ten channels -Star Plus, Star One, Star Gold, Star Utsav, Star Movies, Star World, Channel [V], Star Jalsha, Star Pravah and Star Vijay.

Commenting on the Star India deal, HUL GM -media services Srikanth Srinivasamadhavan said, "We are pleased to be part of an idea that will exclusively reach us to more than 100 million viewers in India at the same time throughout the day. It is innovative and is expected to bring stronger engagement with consumers."

Interestingly, channels like Colors and Sony are not signing any such deal.

"The scope for introducing such type of advertising plans will be restricted to only those networks which have reach and a leading GEC in the portfolio," observes a media analyst.

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